Due to work commitments (grr), and travel (squeeee), I wasn’t able to maintain the great mileage from March, but I still got in a lot of miles. Training runs were getting easier, so I tried in my first parkrun of the month. While I managed my first sub-25 minute parkrun for months, it came again with a sense of huge disappointment. I’d tried hard, but my effort didn’t reflect in the time, or so it felt. Two minutes slower than PB, and with more effort, it felt as though I would be stuck at that pace for ages.
I braved the 8:30 pace group at the We Run LE1 run at the beginning of the month, however, and I was shocked not only to have survived, but to have managed it chatting to other runners. It’s a bit of a twisty-turny route through the city centre, starting and finishing in Victoria Park, but it was challenging enough. I wasn’t impressed with the ‘bantoh’ from the drinkers, however. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times. I guess it gets worse though the summer, with more drinkers sitting outside, sigh…
I couldn’t get to parkrun again for three weeks. I had get my head down, and got on with things, but this was the week that had taken my mileage for the month down. I wasn’t feeling it, and had thought I’d overslept, until The Bloke said I had plenty of time to prepare. We arrived at Braunstone Park, and the warm up was literally cut short by a ‘comfort break’. My stomach was saying, ‘please, no’. I struggled to run to the start, and decided I was going to wimp out.
The start, as is normal these days, was congested with slower runners at the front, despite Beaumont Running Club taking over and providing pacers. I used the downhill section to get by them, and was shocked when the first km was far, far quicker than anything I’ve run recently. I wasn’t even pushing it.
I could have eased off, or I could try and maintain the pace. I went for the latter. With each km, it got harder, and I tried not to look at each split, so as not to see how much I was slowing down, but I failed. Each km split stayed under 5 minutes, even The Hill. I went past The Bloke, which given the way he had been running, was a bit of a shock.
I started to calculate finish times in my head. If I slowed down by x seconds, as is normal, I would end up somewhere around y time. At some point by the car park, I wasn’t sure if I would be sub-24 minutes, but I looked at my watch at about the time of my PB, and was just around the corner from the finish. I knew what time I could run up the hill to the finish, and suddenly it was back on. I could barely speak as I ran up the hill, with friends calling out my name in encouragement, I couldn’t thank them.
I didn’t just get under 24 minutes, but was comfortable below. I was just 61 seconds off my PB. More importantly, I had bought myself a bottle of Prosecco last year, as a reward for getting back under 24 minutes, but I never got to drink it.
Now I could.
It was my fastest time since August 2015. I hadn’t been under 24 minutes since then. Hopefully, this is finally it, and I can now concentrate on getting back to form. Eek!
Still no races, and don’t mention strength training. That has gone to pot. Unfortunately, I’m not doing myself any favours, and need to sort myself out before I rally do get injured again.
Onwards and upwards!